Moguls star Kingsbury leads Canada’s 24-member freestyle team for Beijing

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Led by moguls superstar Mikael Kingsbury, Canada’s freestyle ski team at the Beijing Olympics should be as dominant as ever.

Kingsbury will make his third appearance at the Games as the reigning Olympic champion.

The 29-year-old from Deux-Montagnes, Que., headlines a team of 24 athletes named Monday. They join the eight ski-cross athletes – which is also in the freestyle ski category – in Beijing.

“Each time I feel the same pride,” Kingsbury said in a statement. “This is the culmination of the last four years of work, and I look forward to being in Beijing with all the other athletes from Canada.”

Canada has captured 25 medals – 12 gold, nine silver and four bronze – in Olympic freestyle skiing, more than any other country.

Rachael Karker of Erin, Ont., will make her Olympic debut in Beijing on the heels of an outstanding World Cup season that has seen her climb the podium in all three of her halfpipe events.

“I am incredibly excited and grateful to be representing Canada in my first Olympics,” she said. “I’ve worked so hard the last few years and I’m feeling prepared and ready to get going in Beijing.”

Other Canadian standouts include sisters Chloe and Justine Dufour-Lapointe, who will compete in their third straight Games together. Chloe looks to make history as the first female Canadian freestyle skier to compete in four Olympic Winter Games.

Marion Thenault, a former gymnast who learned to ski after being recruited through the RBC Training Ground in 2017, leads the women’s aerials team after earning three World Cup podiums within the last year.

The mixed team aerials and ski big air events will make their Olympic debuts at Beijing 2022.

Cassie Sharpe, the reigning Olympic champion in women’s halfpipe, looks to make a comeback after a significant knee injury last January.

The men’s halfpipe team features Brendan MacKay, the overall World Cup champion this season, as well as world championship medallists Noah Bowman and Simon d’Artois.

Freestyle skiing will take place Feb. 3-19 at the Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou and at the Big Air Shougang in Beijing.

The Olympic freestyle team:

Moguls:

Chloe Dufour-Lapointe and Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Montreal; Laurent Dumais, Quebec City; Sofiane Gagnon, Whistler, B.C.; Mikael Kingsbury, Deux-Montagnes, Que.

Aerials:

Flavie Aumond, Lac-Beauport, Que.; Naomy Boudreau-Guertin, Boischatel, Que.; Miha Fontaine, Lac-Beauport, Que.; Lewis Irving, Quebec City; Emile Nadeau, Prevost, Que.; Marion Thenault, Sherbrooke, Que.

Slopestyle/Big Air:

Olivia Asselin, Lac Beauport, Que.; Elena Gaskell, Vernon, B.C.; Teal Harle, Campbell River, B.C.; Evan McEachran, Oakville, Ont.; Max Moffatt, Guelph, Ont.; Megan Oldham, Parry Sound, Ont.; Edouard Therriault, Lorraine, Que.

Halfpipe:

Noah Bowman, Amy Fraser and Brendan Mackay, Calgary; Simon d’Artois, Whistler, B.C.; Rachael Karker, Erin, Ont.; Cassie Sharpe, Comox, B.C.